Intel, Microsoft and other companies that focus on the old paradigm of computing need to watch their backs. The truth is that, the computing market is changing dramatically. Thanks to the explosion in the tablet market fueled by the iPad and several Android tablets, more and more people are discovering the joys of tablet computing.
What’s not to love? First of all, you can buy cheaper machines because a tablet doesn’t have to have a turbo charged processor to do its job. How come? It offloads a lot of the computing power needed to the Internet. Think of the tablet as, essentially, a collection of pieces of programs. You only need to activate these pieces for the app to interact with the actual computing being done on a remote server. In other words, you get a lighter computing device, which is more mobile friendly, and still able to deliver the computing power as needed. Compare this with lugging around a laptop where you have to install the full version of the computer program. When you use the computer program, it eats up a lot of your resources and produces data files that you then have to upload to the internet. This is exactly where mobile devices are just taking off. Plus, considering the speed of the evolution of mobile apps, tablets are increasingly becoming more and more practical. In fact, a lot of people are sticking to tablets instead of buying desktops or notebooks. With this change in computing habits, traditional PC sales have shown declines in the past seven quarters. If this is not enough to make Intel and Microsoft executives lose sleep, I don’t know what will.
The times are definitely changing and one key reflection of that is Intel’s recent announcement that it is cutting its work force. A lot of Intel staff is still targeted towards traditional computing chips. These are chips in desktops and notebooks. Intel is planning to cut 5% of its global staff. That works out to at least 5,000 of Intel’s total manpower pool of 107,000. A lot of this will probably happen in its overseas workforce but it’s definitely a red flag for Intel. Intel definitely needs to get on the bowl regarding tablet computing or it may totally miss the boat. When that happens, we could be expecting more layoffs in the future.